July 19, 2013

How Spicy Is Your Personality? – The Daily Orbit

Just how spicy are you?

The “pitch has dropped” has a whole new meaning.

Why did sauropods always have a great smile?

And we’re buggin’ out on the Daily Orbit!

Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.

My personality says I’m spicy! The hotter the better! But if you’re scared of spice, it’s probably not your taste buds talking. A new study says that the more adventurous among us are more inclined to spicy foods. Participants were given a test determine their personality type from risk-averse to risk-takers, then given a meal with capsaicin in it. The risk-takers liked the spice throughout the meal while those who typically play it safe quickly became averse to the meal. They determined that those who liked spicy foods felt the burn just as much. Bring on the burn. I love it!

And while too much spice has some people hitting some high notes, the pitch just dropped in science—pitch being solid pitch tar. An experiment started back in 1944 has finally come to fruition. The experiment was to examine the viscosity of pitch tar, a seemingly solid polymer that can turn liquid and drop. For the first time, the drop falling from the funnel was caught by a webcam. The pitch drops about once every decade and scientists say pitch has a viscosity about 20 billion times that of water. A similar experiment at the University in Queensland has been running since 1927. I don’t know, do you think it was worth the wait? I’m not sure I have that much patience. But it’s got scientists involved with the experiment feeling pitch perfect about now.

Well, insects can’t be accused of being muscled meat heads. New research has found that insect limbs are capable of moving without the use of muscles. Researchers say they use “passive joint forces” which allows some insects to return their limbs to a preferred resting place after being extended. And you know they’re tricky little suckers. They store energy in elastic muscle tendons and other structures providing the potential to generate explosive movements. Researchers are buggin’ out on the implications this find could have medically and robotically.

Since we brought up robotics—let’s check out what our little Martian rover is up to now. Curiosity is providing insights into how Mars’ lost its atmosphere. Once believed to be a much thicker, the Martian atmosphere is now very thin. Measurements from Curiosity’s Sample Analysis at Mars instrument show that heavy isotopes of carbon and oxygen are much more abundant today than in the raw proportions that formed Mars. The findings suggest that most of Mars’ original atmosphere escaped. Scientists say it’s important because this is “clear evidence of a substantially more massive atmosphere–hence a warmer, wetter Mars in the past than the cold, arid planet we find today.” Next NASA plans to measure the current rate of atmospheric escape from the Red Planet.

Ever had a cavity and just wish you could generate a new tooth rather than go through the pain of getting it filled? Well, if we were like Sauropod dinosaurs we could. A new report says that these dinos teeth renewed on a monthly basis and that they constantly had a backup of teeth stored in their jaws. The constant wear and tear of this plant eating dinosaur trying to eat enough to maintain its huge body took a toll on its teeth, so a fresh tooth in each position popped up about every one to two months. The research team cut open Sauropod jaw specimens taken from museums to find the back-up teeth within the bone. If we could do that, there would be a lot of dentists out of business.

Well that’s all for the Daily Orbit! Have a great weekend!

Share on Linkedin Share on Google+